Falling cash and keyboards
June 17, 2019

What's up at Wooting... It's June.

Over the last month, we announced the development of the Lekker switch and Wooting two Lekker edition. “Two” really exciting developments that will push analog input keyboards to the next level. But these are giving a taste of the future, while there is plenty happening right now. Let’s talk.Every year we are growing at a healthy rate. We’re not your exciting startup that is smashing growth records, earning millions of revenue and attracting all kinds of VC funding (thankfully). But every year we are seeing upticks in sales, Wooting members (you) and brand recognition. We’re building something stable, robust, and sustainable. Or well, that’s what I’m aiming for.The growth also means that we are increasingly starting to notice our weaknesses bottlenecking us. They’re not overly complex and simply boil down to our inexperience and limited access to cash.Everything we’ve done for Wooting is a first for us. We don’t have much previous work experience and just try to do everything at the best of our ability. Often it means that things take a bit longer to get done and there’s a lot of first times. But some of those things take extremely long for us and we are simply not the best at doing it. Our time is becoming increasingly valuable and scarce. We’re short of hands. This is where we need to see what we can outsource and bring in-house (growing the team).Cash flow, working capital, monthly burn rate, stock run rate, and a couple of other jargons. It’s business 101, you need cash to fund your operations and invest in growth. Generally, we operate very lean, minimize expenses and barely spend anything on marketing. A lot of cash goes into product stock and keeping things running. But as we’re growing (more stock, less pre-order) and want to step up our game (faster delivery, service, and development), our operating expenses will increase and we’ll require more capital. I heard banks should be open for business now that we have some financial history.That’d sum up Wooting’s business affairs. Now into topics with burning questions:

  • Wootility & SDK state of development
  • Wooting two delivery update
  • Wooting store and delivery improvements

Wootility & SDK

The Wootility is the cornerstone of Wooting. We spend a significant amount of time on it and wish to push it a lot further than its current state. It’s a non-stop project for us.The last update included a lot of back-end and quality of life improvements. The next update will also include more of these type of improvements and not a new feature.That’s because Jeroen needs more free time to work on the Lekker switch development. If Jeroen doesn’t spend this time on the Lekker switch, it will most definitely influence the outcome of the switch. And right now too much is hanging on it to let that happen.Our goal is to have a person working full-time on the Wootility, so we don’t need to throttle development. But it’s hard to justify the cost with our current revenue. For the time being, we are looking for interns, part-time or freelancers that can help fill the gap. Suggestions are more than welcome.

Analog SDK

Speaking of interns. We recently have a new intern working at Wooting, Simon. You might know him from his work on the project Aurora, it also works with Wooting keyboards.It’s an internship of a few months but it’s an extremely effective one. He’s assigned to work full-time on the open-source Analog SDK, help us redefine and significantly improve it for future use. We hope that the Wooting Analog SDK can become a central point for connecting analog input devices with applications. Tino wrote a great blog about the importance of the SDK.We’re extremely happy to have Simon on board and I’m confident he’ll produce some great work.

Wooting two delivery update

The Wooting two is/was in pre-order and I’m extremely grateful for the patience people have shown. We were afraid that the long lead-time for the Wooting two would scare away a lot of people and we’d be in a lot of trouble. My introduction text is heavily related to this topic. We didn’t make the right forecast, didn’t have the capital to afford “safety” stock and didn’t want to risk to have all our cash stuck in the first production. This is something we urgently need to improve.Unfortunately, we were struck with extreme long production lead times when we planned the second production and our original stock went out faster than expected. This has caused the Wooting two to be in pre-order for 4 months (!!) now and some models already sold out. I can almost cry how terrible it feels to be out of stock for so long. But again, you guys are really what keeps us going, not our wits.Now let’s see where your keyboard is.Europe/International.The Wooting two had arrived by Railway in Hamburg, Germany and is now at The Netherlands customs for importation. We expect to receive the goods this coming week (17- 19 June), start packing all the shipments and set up our new fulfillment solution. Unfortunately, the new fulfillment solution will have a couple of vacation days this week (20-24 June) and we’ll not be able to pick up the orders for shipment until the 25th of June.You can expect shipping to take 1-5 working days within Europe. International, expect 8-10 working days.United States / North AmericaThe goods are still on a boat and should arrive any day now. It’s slower than the estimated time to arrival. I expect to receive the goods at the warehouse in the week of 25 June. We will also use a new fulfillment solution in North America that will significantly improve our services and delivery speed.Keep an eye on Discord’s stock_updates channel.

Wooting store improvements

We’re working on the Wooting store. We admittedly don’t have an amazing store experience from order to delivery and can improve our order information and delivery speed. There are a few things that we’re doing that should make significant improvements:

  • We’re moving to a new fulfillment solution in the USA that will seamlessly integrate it with our new backend solution.
  • Orders will be processed on the same day. (Before our timezone differences added a delay)
  • A confirmation email with tracking number is sent when the shipping label is made. (before this email landed in spam or didn’t send for whatever reason).
  • Tracking numbers will always be visible in your order information.
  • A return address label is available for any type of returns.
  • Improved shipping rates for smaller packages.
  • Different express shipping options available.
  • More insight in estimated delivery time.
  • International shipping by USPS will be available from our North America store.
  • We’re moving our entire fulfillment operation to our new fulfillment solution that we’ve tested over the last couple of months.
  • Orders will be processed on the same day.
  • A confirmation email with tracking number is sent as soon as it is scanned at the shipping distribution center.
  • Tracking numbers will always be visible in your order information.
  • More insight in estimated delivery time.
  • Improved shipping rates for international shipments.
  • We are getting the store ready to support multiple different products. Right now it’s still focused on just purchasing a single product. Browsing around, adding things to cart, product suggestions, and etc. isn’t too great.
  • We want to remove the region selection page when you move from the Wooting.io webpage to the Wooting store. Automatically directing you to the right store.
  • Erik is working on a re-design of the Wooting store website theme to improve the general purchase and information experience. Right now it’s still in a “make it work” style.
  • Erik is also working on a better mobile purchasing experience that will make it easier to buy things with your thumb.
  • We’re looking into a different solution for pre-orders and will add an interest check option, so we can do better purchasing/stock planning.
  • The double-shot PBT keycaps are out of stock in the EU, we want to remove it, but are doubting. That’s why it’s still there for no good reason. If there’s a demand, we will continue the line.
  • Wooting two black switches, we had underestimated the demand and without enough stock, we can’t estimate the real demand.
  • Wooting one/two in other language options, if we never stock it, we never know the demand. We want people to vote for their interest.

We had neglected this part of our business for too long and it’s vital, especially if we’re 100% stepping away from Kickstarter. You’re welcome to let us know what we can improve, make sure to be critical and give constructive feedback or examples.

And onwards

I hope this gave a bit more insight into what’s going on at Wooting. You are always welcome to pitch in and share your ideas or suggestions in the comments, Discord or social@wooting.io.<3 Calder,Team Wooting

Co-founder and CEO
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